I’m renouncing Christianity!
Are you hearing this statement more than you’d like to from your church members, or former church members?
As a pastor, this might seem like a pretty bold and admittedly scary statement. But it should be absolutely true for all of us, under one condition.
What is Deconstructionism?
According to PBS, deconstructionism is “a challenge to the attempt to establish any ultimate or secure meaning in a text.” In other words, the modern deconstructionist movement in the church is a rejection of the Bible as absolutely true.
If deconstructionists are right, then that would dismantle my faith too.
I have often stated and am more convinced of this the older I get, that if any one single point of the Scriptures is ever proven to be untrue, I will consider Christianity just another belief system rather than the source of my faith and hope.
Why do I say that?
Simply put, I have placed all of my proverbial chips in the basket of absolute Biblical inerrancy, perfection, and divine authorship. I do not see the Bible as a good book, or as some written standard of conduct that would still be "pretty good" even if one error was discovered.
The word of God is completely perfect and without error, and I believe that with all of my heart. If a prophecy was proven untrue, even in simple detail, it would then, by definition, not be perfect.
The Inerrancy of Scripture
There are hundreds of prophecies about the Messiah found in the Old Testament. Let's take just one, Micah 5:2, for example, which states that out of Bethlehem would come the One to be the Ruler of Israel, the One who would be everlasting.
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. (Micah 5:2)
If every single prophecy about Christ was accurate, but He was born in any other town, that would automatically reduce the Bible to "very accurate" rather than "perfect." And I have not staked my faith on "very accurate," or "good enough," or "close enough to be a gimmie."
I have staked my faith, and my eternal existence, in a perfect book, a holy book, a book that was authored by God Himself.
Now, you might be thinking that I am wavering in my faith, or standing on the precipice of a cliff, looking for that one reason to jump off of the "Jesus ship."
Nothing, however, could be further from the truth!
Rather, I am SO confident in the Scriptures that I can boldly make such a claim. I have complete trust in the God who wrote the Bible. I am indeed one false prophecy or one Scriptural lie away from leaving; however, I am confident that, since God wrote it, the Bible is perfect!
And thus, I am drawn even closer to the God who has revealed Himself to me in His written word. I may be one step away from renouncing my faith in Christ, but I am as far away from that happening as the earth is from the Sun.
The Roots of Deconstructionism
Perhaps you viewed the title of this post as clickbait, or maybe as a lighthearted way of catching your eye. In modern Christianity, there is much more at stake here than cute titles or semantics.
Many modern theologians have a far different view of the reliability of the Scriptures, including that of the deconstructionist movement. In short, this concept espouses the thought that modern readers of the Bible cannot speak for God, or for that matter, the original authors, for a variety of reasons. This leads to a dismantling (hence deconstruction) of truths of God’s word and opens the door for any number of interpretations.
The reliable truth of the Bible that keeps me from leaping off a cliff of doubt is exactly that – truth. Imagine trying to balance your dependence on God and the importance of your faith while also trying to determine what your truth is.
Talk about being on a precipice!
Reinventing the core concepts of Jesus’ teachings provides nothing more than confusion and false interpretations. Living the Christian life on a foundation other than solid truth will ultimately be revealed as foolishness.
David wrote in both Psalm 14 and 53 (which are nearly identical) with an understanding of how man’s incorrect thinking can lead us astray.
The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
Both psalms state that “the fool says in his heart, ‘There no God.’” The result of such incorrect thinking is that those people are “corrupt and do vile deeds.” These may seem like harsh words to our ears, and yet God is very clear in speaking through the psalmist.
When we take the simple truth of the Bible (that God is who He says He is) and view it through a lens that pleases our own desires and purposes, we become those corrupt and vile people. We don’t get the option of defining God another way, or even of denying His existence. Accepting anything less than the singular truth leads us down a very dangerous path.
I believe that the Bible is God’s divinely inspired word, and that its meaning never changes to suit my own situations or circumstances. Again, it’s so complete and perfect that one simple error within its precious words would render it, by definition, imperfect. My faith is not based on redefining the meanings or tearing it down and reinterpreting it to fit within my own personal box of preferences.
Here I stand, balancing between that tension of total commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture and rejecting it out of hand. And I do so in full confidence that my position is secure, not because of my thoughts and feelings but because of the trust I have in God’s perfect word.